Saturday, February 5, 2011

URIAH HEEP: U.S. Tour Dates Announced

Legendary British hard rockers URIAH HEEP have scheduled the following U.S. tour dates:

June 14 - Variety Playhouse - Atlanta, GA
June 15 - Riverbend Festival - Chattanooga,TN
June 17 - Fraze Pavilion for the Performing Arts - Kettering, OH
June 18 - Rams Head on Stage - Annapolis, MD
June 19 - State Theater - Sun Falls Church, VA
June 20 - Sellersville - Sellersville, PA
June 22 - B.B. King Blues Club & Grill - New York, NY
June 23 - Showcase Live - Foxborough, MA
June 24 - Penn's Peak - Jim Thorpe, PA
June 25 - Ridgefield Play House - Ridgefield, CT
June 27 - Infinity Hall - Norfolk, CT
Aug. 12 - Rocking the Rivers - Three Forks, MT
Aug. 14 - Mayo Park - Rochester, MN

URIAH HEEP recently inked a deal with Frontiers Records for the release of the band's 23rd studio album, tentatively due in April.

Following the completion of URIAH HEEP's 40th anniversary tour, the band started the recordings for its new CD in January at Liscombe Park Studios in Buckinghamshire, England. Entitled "Into The Wild", it will contain 11 brand new songs, including some epic additions to the band's huge catalogue of rock classics.

Commented guitarist and founding member Mick Box: "We are delighted and excited to be joining the Frontiers roster. We see it as a really fantastic move and we are now fully immersed in recording process and hope to deliver the album they want, we want and the fans want."

URIAH HEEP debuted in 1970 with the release of one of hard rock music's milestones "Very 'Eavy... Very 'Umble", and has since sold in excess of 30 millions albums worldwide. They constantly tour in the world, playing in over 53 countries and the band's live setlist features hits from the '70s and '80s, such as "The Wizard", "Free 'n Easy", "Sunrise" and their monster hits "Easy Livin'", "July Morning" and "Lady in Black", as well as new material.


Mick Box - Guitar, Vocals
Trevor Bolder - Bass, Vocals
Bernie Shaw - Lead Vocals
Phil Lanzon - Keyboards, Vocals
Russell Gilbrook - Drums, Vocals

Friday, February 4, 2011

SONS OF SEASONS Mainman Comments On Upcoming Album

SONS OF SEASONS — the new progressive/symphonic metal band led by keyboardist/guitarist Oliver Palotai (KAMELOT, DORO) — will release its sophomore album, "Magnisphyricon", on April 1 via Napalm Records.

Commented Palotai: "I guess many second albums mean a big step forward for most bands. We've also learned so much during the production of [SONS OF SEASONS' 2009 debut] 'Gods Of Vermin' and afterwards, and all this influenced the successor big time. More important, even the songwriting happened while knowing that the band is complete now, and the result is what we were aiming for: More than one hour of dark symphonic metal, strong melodies and a reflection of our artists' soul, what we are, what we've absorbed in the past two years, what we wanted to achieve."

According to a press release, SONS OF SEASONS "steps into the limelight once again to deliver a second album that is even more impressive than their debut. 'Magnisphyricon' is not a mere continuation of their chosen path, but rather a bold step into unexplored musical territories. Led by mastermind Oliver Palotai, the band performs the difficult feat of balancing technical prowess with memorable melodies. Some of the best examples of this gripping mix of musical complexity and headbanging quality are 'Soul Symmetry' and 'Tales of Greed'. The new songs also provide Henning Basse (METALIUM) a forum in which to prove his vocal talents and ennoble the album with sweeping renditions. Simone Simons (EPICA) again lends her captivating voice, making the track 'Sanctuary' one of the album's undisputed highlights. The powerful and lively production completes the listening experience and gives the tracks their crystal-clear quality. 'Magnisphyricon' is a profound
and multifaceted melodic symphonic metal album that will whisk you away to a breathtaking sound universe."

"Magnisphyricon" track listing:

01. Magnisphyricon: Temperance
02. Bubonic Waltz
03. Soul Symmetry
04. Sanctuary
05. Casus Belli I: Guilt's Mirror
06. Magnisphyricon: Adjustement
07. Into the Void
08. A Nightbird's Gospel
09. Tales of Greed
10. Lilith
11. Casus Belli II: Necrologue to the Unborn
12. Magnisphyricon: The Aeon
13. 1413
14. Yesteryears


Oliver Palotai (KAMELOT, DORO, BLAZE) - Keyboards, Guitar
Daniel Schild (BLAZE) - Drums
Jürgen Steinmetz (ROCK IGNITION, SILENT FORCE) - Bass
Henning Basse (METALIUM, FIREWIND) - Vocals
Pepe Pierez (ANCIENT CURSE) - Guitar

For more information, visit

MIKE PORTNOY Working On New Project With SYMPHONY X Singer

Former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy revealed in a new Twitter message that he is currently working on a new project with SYMPHONY X frontman Russell Allen. He writes, "VERY excited about a new project I'm working on [with] one my [favorite] singers in the world: my bro, Sir Russell Allen." He adds, "Wait 'till you hear this shit!!!"

Portnoy recently began work on a new project with guitarist Steve Morse (DEEP PURPLE, DIXIE DREGS), multi-instrumentalist Neal Morse (TRANSATLANTIC, SPOCK'S BEARD), bassist Dave LaRue (DIXIE DREGS) and vocalist Casey McPherson (ALPHA REV, ENDOCHINE). The group's debut album is tentatively due later in the year.

Just days after it was announced that he'd been dismissed as the touring drummer for AVENGED SEVENFOLD, Portnoy revealed that he tried to rejoin DREAM THEATER, and was rebuffed.

Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 20 years ago, abruptly quit the band this summer while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD.

He played on AVENGED SEVENFOLD's latest album, "Nightmare", following the death of that band's drummer, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, and has toured with them since early summer.


EVERGREY has been confirmed for this year's edition of the Sweden Rock Festival, set to take place June 8-11, 2011 in Sölvesborg in southern Sweden.

The festival billing is shaping up as follows (in alphabetical order):

RAGE (acoustic)

SAXON will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its classic album "Denim And Leather" by performing it in its entirety at the event, "spiced with a lot of other immortal SAXON classics and yes, they will bring the eagle!"

LEPROUS Recording New Album At IHSAHN's Studio

Norwegian progressive metal upstarts LEPROUS are recording their new album at legendary EMPEROR frontman Ihsahn's Ivory Shoulder Studio (formerly Symphonique Studio).

Commented Ihsahn: "We are happy to have the guys in LEPROUS working in our studio these days. So far the recording has been going great, and new material is absolutely fantastic! In lack of a crystal ball, we would still definitely predict this to be one of the best progressive albums coming out in 2011."

LEPROUS has served as Ihsahn's backing band for his recent live appearances.

The band's debut album, "Tall Poppy Syndrome", was recorded, mixed and mastered by Jonas Kjellgren at Black Lounge Studio and The Abyss in Pärlby, Sweden during August 2008 and is was released in April 2009 through Sensory Records.

Hailing from the town of Notodden — home to such metal luminaries as EMPEROR, ZYKLON, IHSAHN and PECCATUM — LEPROUS formed in 2001 and features within its ranks Einar Solberg (synth/vocals; touring member of EMPEROR), Tor Oddmund Suhrke (guitar), Halvor Strand (bass), Øystein Landsverk (guitar) and Tobias Ørnes Andersen (drums). With an eclectic list of influences ranging from KING CRIMSON, TOOL, MASSIVE ATTACK and PECCATUM to DEVIL DOLL, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, MR. BUNGLE and Chopin, the young quintet has already made itself visible on the Norwegian prog and metal scenes as two-time finalists in the prestigious Norwegian Rock Championship.

Prior to "Tall Poppy Syndrome", LEPROUS recorded two demos, "Silent Waters" (2004) and "Aeolia" (2006). The recordings received very good feedback from the Norwegian metal press and local fans. The band subsequently received a 20,000 NOK scholarship from the organization "Lions" to fund its recording.

For more information, visit


PERIPHERY Guitarist To Sit Out Tour Dates After Breaking Finger

Guitarist Jake Bowen of the Maryland-based experimental, progressive metal six-piece PERIPHERY has been forced to sit out the remaining dates on the band's current European tour due to the fact that he broke his finger. The band wrote on its Facebook page, "Bad news first: Poor Jake broke his finger. Good news: We have Nolly from RED SEAS FIRE and John from MONUMENTS who can fill in for him. We're not cancelling any of the shows!!! HELL NO."

Video footage of Jake's hospital visit to get his hand checked can be viewed at this location.

PERIPHERY will release a new EP, "Icarus Lives", on April 19 via Sumerian Records. This CD features a brand new unreleased track, a series of remixes and video clips.

"The Icarus Lives" EP track listing:

01. New Groove (instrumental)
02. Icarus Lives
03. Icarus Lives - Fan/Contest Winner Remix
04. Icarus Lives - Zedd Remix
05. Icarus Lives - Bulb Remix
06. Jetpacks was Yes v2.0
07. Captain On
08. Frak The Gods
09. Eureka


* "Icarus Lives"
* "Jetpacks Was Yes v2.0"
* "Icarus Lives" behind-the-scenes footage

PERIPHERY's self-titled debut album sold around 4,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 128 on the Billboard 200 chart. The CD landed at No. 2 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

In early March PERIPHERY will embark on a North American tour alongside FAIR TO MIDLAND and SCALE THE SUMMIT.


Spencer Sotelo - Vocals
Misha Mansoor - Guitar
Alex Bois - Guitar
Jake Bowen - Guitar
Tom Murphy - Bass
Matt Halpern - Drums

For more information, visit


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

DREAM THEATER Singer Says MIKE PORTNOY's Departure 'Came As A Shock' recently conducted an interview with DREAM THEATER vocalist James LaBrie. A few excerpts from the chat follow below. Has a replacement for [departed drummer] Mike [Portnoy] been found? Are the auditions now finished?

James: We've already completed the auditioning process. At this point, it's all just a matter of us coming to a decision and announcing it when the time is truly right. The auditioning process took place in October in New York and, unfortunately, I can't really speak of it any further that that. It happened and we're now moving forward. Once everything can be revealed and known to the fans, we will definitely be putting the word out. Were there any obvious precursors to Mike had become displeased or, at the very least, wanted a change?

James: Absolutely not. And I think that's why it came as such a shock to every one of us. It wasn't like we were all bangin' each other's heads, not seeing eye-to-eye or wanting to be in the same room with one another. None of that was going on. Everything was cool. It was quite simply a surprise. Mike had mentioned that it wasn't something that was spur of the moment. He just doesn't operate like that. When he mentioned to us that he had been thinking about it off and on over the last year, it was obvious that he had been having these feelings for quite some time, wanting to separate himself from anything regarding the future of DREAM THEATER. It was simply something that we didn't see coming in any way, shape or form. It was just an absolute surprise. Would you describe the relations between everyone as "stable" prior to Mike announcing he was leaving?

James: I think we got along a lot better than most other bands, ya know? You hear about some bands fighting and scrappin' offstage and whatever. That's not to say that we didn't have our differences over the years We've been together for over twenty five years. It's bound to happen where you have a difference in opinions and don't see eye-to-eye. We're five individuals with our own idiosyncrasies and personalities. Let's face it; when you're around someone long enough, you either need to learn how to deal with it or it becomes something that has to be confronted. We've always been able to work through any difficult periods and come over to a stronger situation. I wish him the best. He's a great drummer. He'll always be involved with something, no doubt about it. He's not the type of person who can just sit at home and twiddle his thumbs. It's impossible. What type of impact will the departure of Mike have on the songwriting dynamic within DREAM THEATER?

James: It might shift the dynamic as far as the involvement. There may be a bit more involvement from (bassist) John Myung. Basically, (keyboardist) Jordan (Rudess) and (guitarist) John (Petrrucci) are the main contributors to the music, so a lot of that is going to remain the same, but there might be some more involvement from John Myung and myself, ya know? We'll just have to get in there and start feelin' things out. This is a whole new chapter for us or a whole new dynamic, as you put it, for us to be going into. If anything, I think it will be overwhelmingly positive, very exciting and something different. It's going to be very different and a new experience for all of us. I think it's going to bring up a lot of things that might not have otherwise been noticed or known. There's a certain potential that it brings and that's why I do my solo albums, ya know? My inspiration is that I get to reveal who James LaBrie is outside of being the singer for
DREAM THEATER and who I am as a writer and producer and a singer. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds within the studio. When the group once again begins touring, are there plans to continue with the "An Evening With" format?

James: It's definitely something we're going to talk about, but I think it's a bit premature to answer something like that. It's something we're going to entertain or at least discuss. It's definitely a conversation that needs to be had. And if we don't go ahead and do "An Evening With," I think we would have only one opening act and then do a two-hour or two-hour-plus set. That's what our fans want and we know that. Our fans are coming to our shows to see DREAM THEATER and they want to see a lot, so we're going to do as much as we're comfortable doing. I know that eventually and inevitably the idea for "An Evening With" will come up again. Is it something that's going to happen on the next tour? I don't honestly know. Rest assured, it's a conversation we will have. We'll be talking about it again once we begin recording. Those types of topics always come up.

WOLVERINE: 'Communication Lost' Details Revealed

Swedish progressive rock band WOLVERINE will release its new studio album, "Communication Lost", on May 23 in Europe via Candlelight Records. The CD was recorded at various locations in Sweden between February and August 2010. It was mixed by Jacob Hansen at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark in July/August 2010 and mastered by Eroc at Eroc's Mastering Ranch in Germany in December 2010/January 2011.

"Communication Lost", which was produced by the band, features 11 tracks and has a running time of approximately 70 minutes:

01. Downfall
02. Into The Great Nothing
03. Poison Ivy
04. Your Favourite War
05. Embrace
06. Pulse
07. What Remains
08. In Memory Of Me
09. In The Quiet Of Dawn
10. Communication Lost
11. A Beginning

Lyrically, the album deals with personal issues the band and the individual members experienced during the four years WOLVERINE spent composing the material. The result is a melodic and moody metal album which feels like a natural progression from "Still", which was released in 2006.

The "Communication Lost" cover artwork was designed by Marcus Losbjer (drums) while Thomas Jansson (bass) contributed to it with "great photos."

Monday, January 31, 2011

Uriah Heep Signs To Frontiers Records

Frontiers Records has announce the signing of legendary British hard rockers URIAH HEEP for the release of their 23rd studio album, tentatively due in April.

Following the completion of URIAH HEEP's 40th anniversary tour, the band started the recordings for its new CD in January at Liscombe Park Studios in Buckinghamshire, England. Entitled "Into The Wild", it will contain 11 brand new songs, including some epic additions to the band's huge catalogue of rock classics.

Commented guitarist and founding member Mick Box: "We are delighted and excited to be joining the Frontiers roster. We see it as a really fantastic move and we are now fully immersed in recording process and hope to deliver the album they want, we want and the fans want."

The band has recorded a video recording diary and the first chapter can be seen below.

URIAH HEEP debuted in 1970 with the release of one of hard rock music's milestones "Very 'Eavy... Very 'Umble", and has since sold in excess of 30 millions albums worldwide. They constantly tour in the world, playing in over 53 countries and the band's live setlist features hits from the '70s and '80s, such as "The Wizard", "Free 'n Easy", "Sunrise" and their monster hits "Easy Livin'", "July Morning" and "Lady in Black", as well as new material.


Mick Box - Guitar, Vocals
Trevor Bolder - Bass, Vocals
Bernie Shaw - Lead Vocals
Phil Lanzon - Keyboards, Vocals
Russell Gilbrook - Drums, Vocals

SAGA Frontman MICHAEL SADLER: 'It's Nice To Be Back!'

Canadian rockers SAGA have been rejoined by the band's original singer, Michael Sadler. The group is in the process of recording a new CD, to be released later this year through Edel AG.

Commented Sadler: "Let me begin by saying how touched I am by your overwhelmingly positive reaction to the news of my return to SAGA. It's always good to feel support from one's friends and family (fans fall under both categories!), especially at a time when you're making any kind of life change or decision, and believe me, this was a big one!

"Although the facts about 'how it all went down' will surely be elaborated upon through the course of the inevitable interviews that will follow, this came about simply because Jim and I stayed in contact after my departure in 2007. After all, after 30 years of musical and emotional investment, it's next to impossible not to be at least a little curious about the ripple effect, positive or negative, you may or may not have caused as a direct result of a decision you've made.

"During the course of a conversation we had some months ago about a few things, musical and otherwise, the topic of SAGA came up, and we briefly touched on the notion of what it would be like, hypothetically speaking, if I were to rejoin the band. Nothing serious, just two friends sharing some memories and speculating just for fun. One thing that we agreed on was that, if and when I ever were to return, it would have to feel like it was exactly the right thing to do and exactly the right time to do it!

"While I can't say for certain that my return, in whatever capacity, was inevitable, what I can say is, that on more than one occasion, I have thought of what it would feel like, to once again record and perform with SAGA. Consequently, during a more recent conversation, Jim said he felt that perhaps the time was right, and after quite a bit of thought… I agreed.

"One thing I would like to make clear, considering the implications and impact that my decision would have on my family, I naturally discussed this extensively with my wife, Gwen. Ultimately we agreed…this is who I am...and this is what I do! But make no mistake, without her support and belief, I know that this decision would not have been made. So, although I am very optimistic about SAGA's future and very happy about my decision to come back, my family is, and will remain, my number one priority.

"So there you have it. The 'if' has become 'yes' and the 'when' has become 'now.'

"I would like to thank you all again for making me feel so welcome. It's nice to be back!"

SAGA's most recent vocalist, Rob Moratti, replaced Sadler during the years 2008 through 2010 and appeared on the band's 2009 release, "The Human Condition".

Originally known as THE POCKETS, SAGA formed in 1977 from the nucleus of popular Canadian rock band FLUDD. In June 1978, they released their self-titled debut album. A modest success in Canada, it would eventually sell over 50,000 copies in Germany as an import.

SAGA has released a total of 19 studio albums, five live albums, five compilations and one interactive CD and four live video/DVDs. They have 8 million in sales to date.

SAGA is:

Michael Sadler - Lead Vocals
Ian Crichton - Guitar
Jim Crichton - Bass , Keyboards
Jim Gilmour - Keyboards, Vocals
Brian Doerner - Drums

Project/Object Returns To The South With Legendary Zappa Band Members

For Immediate Release

Project/Object Returns to the South with Legendary Zappa Band Members

1/31/2011 - New York, NY – Project/Object continues their mission of performing Frank Zappa’s music with a rotating lineup of Zappa’s most beloved band members. On this tour the band will be joined by alumni Ike Willis and Ray White, and at selected gigs, Denny Walley, Don Preston and Bunk Gardner. Project/Object’s collaboration with these legends is a testament to the bands desire to present Zappa’s music as it was recorded and performed live, while also developing creativity in live performance.

Ike Willis is the legendary Zappa vocalist and guitarist whose career with Frank began in the role of “Joe” on the quintessential Zappa album Joe’s Garage, and continued for over a decade. He toured with Zappa’s band in 1978 and appeared on every Zappa tour thereafter, as well as almost 30 Zappa albums. Ike also played an integral role in Zappa’s legendary final tour in 1988. Ray White is a vocalist and guitarist who was drafted into Zappa’s band in the fall of 1976, forming a memorable vocal harmony partnership with Ike Willis on later tours in 1980 and 1984. He participated on the albums Zappa in New York, Joe’s Garage, Tinsel Town Rebellion, You Are What You Is, and many more. Denny Walley, who also recorded and toured with the late Captain Beefheart, toured with Zappa playing slide guitar in the mid 70s, and guested on records in the early 80s as well. Don Preston and Bunk Gardner, appearing at the tour closer in NJ, are part of the original lineups of Zappa’s “Mothers Of Invention”, touring and recording the late 60s classics beloved by most of Zappa’s fan base.

Frank Zappa is one of the Twentieth Century’s most important composers. His effect on the modern music landscape is undeniable. Formed in the early 90’s, Project/Object is on a mission to bring this music to the masses by faithfully recreating the live Zappa experience – with the people who were integral to Zappa’s classic sound. In every new market they visit, Project/Object pleases the Zappa connoisseurs and converts the curious into dedicated fans.

The confirmed dates and alumni appearances for the 2011 fall tour are below. Information on the band, specific dates, and where to buy tickets at

February 9 Jammin’ Java Vienna, VA Ike Willis
February 10 Visulite Charlotte , NC Willis, Walley
February 11 Stella Blue Asheville, NC Willis, Walley
February 12 Smith’s Old Bar Atlanta, GA Willis, Walley
February 14 The Pour House Charleston, SC Willis, White,
February 16 Ram’s Head Annapolis, MD Willis, White,
February 17 Pour House Raleigh, NC Willis, White,
February 18 Kirk Ave Music Hall Roanoke, VA Willis, White,
February 19 8x10 Baltimore, MD Willis, White,
February 20 Sellersville Theatre Sellersville, PA Willis, White,
February 22 Mexicali Teaneck, NJ Willis, White, Preston, Gardner

Quantum Fantay To Play Progday 2011

One of the world's foremost space rock bands arrives at Storybook Farm to carry
us far away...

Belgium's QUANTUM FANTAY was founded in 2002 when PETE MUSH (keyboards) and JARO
(bass) decided to form a band that would "change the city of Lokeren forever!"
It became much more. With the addition of GINO BARTOLINI (drums) and DARIO FRODO
(guitar), and five albums later, QUANTUM FANTAY has evolved to be an important
contributor to the progressive rock / space rock / psychedelic scenes. Though
QF has closed the first night of the Burg Herzberg Festival in Germany in front
of over 7000 people, audiences in the US will best remember the band from it's
wonderful appearance at NEARfest in 2009. New music has been released since, and
the band is very excited to be returning to perform material that's never yet
been heard in the US, as well as old favorites. Join us for the ride...

ProgDay is the longest running progressive rock festival in the world. ProgDay
2011 will take place on Saturday, September 3, and Sunday, September 4 at
Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

For more information, and to hear music from this year's bands, visit the Progday site at